The Passionist Volunteers hosted their Third Annual Valentines Luncheon and Fundraiser at St. John Bosco Home for Boys in Mandeville, Jamaica on February 15. The event was a huge success, raising over $4,000 for the program. Approximately 250 guests traveled from all across the island to show their support and enjoy a meal. Members of the PVI support team, friends from communities where volunteers serve and locals from the Mandeville area were all in attendance. For the first time special guest Fr. Lucian Clark CP, Director of Passionist Volunteers, was able to make an appearance and thank the many individuals who continually support the work of the volunteers. Program alums Elly Lemons (’13-’14) and Lindsay Papsin (’12-’14) were also in attendance to lend a hand and help host the event.
The Mandeville community demonstrated their outstanding support of the Passionist Volunteers through generous donations of food, drinks and dessert items. The menu included a range of Jamaican fare including curry goat, jerk chicken, steamed fish and sweet potatoes. Despite the large quantity of food, every dish was eaten and each guest left with a full stomach. The St. John Bosco School for Boys Band, comprised of many students taught by PVIs, provided the entertainment for the event.
The Valentines Luncheon illustrated the overwhelming support and appreciation the Jamaican people have of the work of the Passionist Volunteers. Guests shared stories of their PVI experiences through the years, going back to when the program was based in Stony Hill, Kingston from 2003-2010. Several parishioners from the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Stony Hill made the trip simply to meet the new volunteers and relay how much they loved the program. The atmosphere of the event was jovial, excited, and welcoming. In the words of Sister Maureen Kervick, SSJ, “there was a wonderful spirit among the people.”